Borough of Cresskill, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Cresskill 1-1-1981 by Ord. No. 80-23-780 as Ch. 128 of the 1981 Code; amended in its entirety 12-16-1998 by Ord. No. 98-20-1198. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land use procedures — See Ch. 38.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 101.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 132.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 234.
Zoning — See Ch. 275.

§ 224-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter shall be to prevent the unregulated and uncontrolled relocation, filling, excavation and removal of soil which may result in conditions detrimental to the public safety, health and general welfare, substantially hampering and deterring the efforts of the Borough to effectuate the general purpose of municipal planning. The continuation of the unregulated and uncontrolled relocation, filling, excavation and removal of soil and filling with unsuitable material may cause serious and irreparable damage to the public welfare by reason of consequent soil erosion by water and wind; inadequate and improper surface water drainage; decrease in or destruction of the fertility of soil; removal of lateral support of abutting streets, lands and premises; creation of dust storms and mosquito breeding places; creation of dangerous depressions or pits; deterioration of property values; rendering of lands unfit or unsuitable to their most appropriate uses; and creation of other factors and elements hampering and deterring the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the Borough.

§ 224-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EXCAVATOR
Any person who moves soil.
LOT
Any parcel of land or portion thereof, the boundary lines of which can be ascertained by reference to the maps and records, or either, in the office of the Tax Assessor of the Borough or in the office of the Bergen County Clerk. For the purposes of this chapter, a lot shall also be deemed to be any contiguous parcels of land under common ownership, which ownership can be ascertained by reference to the maps and records, or either, in the office of the Tax Assessor of the Borough or in the office of the Bergen County Clerk.
MAJOR SOIL PERMIT
Any soil permit for the moving of more than 10 cubic yards of soil within any period of 12 consecutive months.
MOVE
To dig, excavate, remove, deposit, place, fill, grade, regrade, level or otherwise alter or change the location or contour, or to transport, or to supply. This term shall not be construed to include plowing, spading, cultivating, harrowing or disking of soil or any other operation usually and ordinarily associated with the tilling of soil for agricultural or horticultural purposes, landscaping and gardening by homeowners or agents of homeowners, provided that it does not substantially alter existing drainage patterns.
OWNER
Any person seized in fee simple of any lot or having such other interest or estate therein as will permit exercise of effective possession thereof or dominion thereover.
SOIL
Any earth, sand, clay, loam, gravel, humus, rock or matter, including any synthetic substance used as a substitute for or in conjunction with soil.
SUITABLE FILL
The Borough Engineer shall determine whether the fill is suitable or unsuitable to the particular location. Suitable materials shall include but not be limited to materials such as earth, clay, gravel, stone, dirt, etc.
TOP SOIL
Soil that, in its natural state, constitutes the top layer of earth and is composed of 2% or more, by weight, of organic matter and has the ability to support vegetation.
UNSUITABLE FILL
The Borough Engineer shall determine whether the fill is suitable or unsuitable to the particular location. The unsuitable materials are materials such as peat moss, organic material, vegetation, leaves, tree stumps, wood chips, sawdust, chemical waste, tires, wooden logs, etc.

§ 224-3 Soil moving permit required.

No developer and no excavator shall move or cause, allow, permit or suffer to be moved more than 10 cubic yards of soil in or upon any lot in the Borough unless and until a soil moving permit therefor shall first have been issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 224-4 Application procedure for soil moving permit.

The procedure for applying for and issuance of a soil moving permit shall be as follows:
A. 
Applications for soil moving permits shall be filed with the Municipal Clerk and shall be accompanied by the fee prescribed in § 224-5 of this chapter. Applications shall be made in triplicate, on forms prescribed by the Borough and supplied by the Municipal Clerk. In addition to any other requirements which the Borough, acting through the Borough Engineer, may require on data pertinent to the application, the application shall show the following:
(1) 
The identity and location of the applicant.
(2) 
The lot and block number of the lot or lots involved.
(3) 
The identity and location of the owner of the lands.
(4) 
The purpose or reason for the moving of the soil.
(5) 
The estimated quantity in cubic yards of soil to be moved.
(6) 
A statement as to how the moving of the soil will affect all trees with a diameter of six inches or more.
(7) 
The proposed date of completion of the work.
B. 
The Municipal Clerk shall require the applicant to submit existing topographical map and proposed grading and drainage plan and to notify, by certified mail, the abutting property owners about the soil moving operation if the Borough Engineer deems it necessary due to the existence of a substantial drainage or erosion of soil problem and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people and property.
C. 
The Municipal Clerk shall refer the application to the Borough Engineer. The Borough Engineer, upon receipt of the application, shall make a field investigation (see Subsection D below) and shall issue the permit or deny it, giving his reasons for denial. The Borough Engineer will forward a copy of the permit to the Building Department and one to the applicant and shall retain one copy on file.
D. 
Inspection of site.
(1) 
The Borough Engineer shall make an inspection of the site from which soil is to be moved and shall make such engineering studies as may be required to determine the effect of the removal of soil from the location as it relates to:
(a) 
Soil erosion by water and wind.
(b) 
Surface and subsurface water drainage.
(c) 
Soil fertility.
(d) 
Lateral support of abutting streets and lands.
(e) 
Public health and safety.
(f) 
Such other factors as may bear upon or relate to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the Borough.

§ 224-5 Fees; exemption.

All fees shall be paid to the Municipal Clerk.
A. 
Soil moving application fee.
(1) 
Soil moving application fee: $25.
(2) 
The soil moving application fee will not be refundable, whether the permit is issued or denied or withdrawn.
B. 
Soil moving deposit and fee. There shall be posted by the developer with the Municipal Clerk a deposit equal to the estimated cost of the soil removal project as established by the Borough Engineer, against which the soil moving fee hereunder shall be charged, from time to time, by the Borough. In the event that the deposit is depleted by virtue of the charging of the soil moving fee set forth herein, the developer shall post such additional soil moving deposit as shall be established by the Borough Engineer. The soil moving fee shall be charged at $0.15 per cubic yard of fill or excavation, whichever is greater. If the permit is denied or withdrawn or if all soil moving has been completed on the project as certified by the Borough Engineer and there remains a balance of the deposit posted hereunder, the soil moving deposit shall be refunded, less the expenses incurred by the Borough of Cresskill.
C. 
Engineer's services. In addition, a fee of 10% of the estimated cost of the soil removal project as estimated by the Borough Engineer shall be posted with the Municipal Clerk to cover the expenses incurred by the Borough for the Borough Engineer's services pursuant to this chapter. The Borough Engineer's services shall be charged at the same rate then being charged the Borough. In the event such fee posted is insufficient to cover Borough expenses for the Borough Engineer's services, an additional fee shall be required to be posted to pay such additional expenses, not to exceed an additional 10% of the estimated cost of the project. Any unused fees posted and not utilized under this chapter shall be remitted to the applicant.
D. 
Exemption. All utility companies, federal, state and local authorities, including the Board of Education, and, further, any movement of soil amounting in the aggregate up to 10 cubic yards of a soil in a twelve-month consecutive period, shall be exempt from the requirement of soil moving application permit and soil movement fee.

§ 224-6 Form of permit; term and expiration.

A. 
The soil removal permit shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the Borough Engineer/DPW, and it shall contain any special conditions set forth in the recommendation.
B. 
The soil moving removal permit shall be dated as of the date it is actually issued, and the term of said permit shall not exceed one year.
C. 
All permits shall automatically expire on the termination date unless application for renewal has been made and approved, in writing, extending such permit.

§ 224-7 General terms and conditions of operation.

No person to whom a soil moving permit has been issued shall:
A. 
Conduct or maintain on the premises any sand, gravel or similar kind of pit, any sand or gravel washing or screening machinery or equipment, any business or industry not permitted in the district in which said premises are located or any endeavor or enterprise other than the grading or regrading of said premises in accordance with the provisions of said permit and, where applicable, the necessary disposal of soil incidental to said grading and regrading.
B. 
Conduct or maintain any soil moving operations without having first made adequate provisions, by means of road oil or otherwise, for the laying of dust incidental to the use of vehicles, machinery and equipment on the lands described in the soil permit.
C. 
Neglect to dispose of, on or before the completion date stated in the application, any partially or wholly excavated boulders or other noncombustible debris resulting from the soil moving operations, by burial or removal, and any partially or wholly excavated stumps, felled or uprooted trees or other combustible debris resulting from the soil moving operations, by combustion or removal from the premises.
D. 
Conduct any soil moving operations beyond the expiration date as set forth in the soil moving permit or extended expiration date as may duly be granted by the Planning Board.

§ 224-8 Topsoil restrictions.

A. 
Whenever any developer or excavator shall move topsoil in or upon any lot, provision shall be made for the storage of said topsoil within the boundary lines of said lot.
B. 
Except as hereinafter provided, all of the topsoil so stored shall be uniformly replaced over the entire area or surface of the lot on or before the completion date set forth in the soil permit so that the final grade or grades of said replaced topsoil shall be in accordance with the proposed final grades shown on the topographical map.
C. 
No developer or excavator shall remove to any point beyond the boundary lines of the lot any topsoil whatsoever unless and until topsoil not inferior in quality to that to be removed shall first have been replaced uniformly to a depth of not less than six inches, measured from the proposed final grades as shown on the topographical map, over the entire surface or area of the lot, excepting only such portions thereof as shall be or shall have become, since the date of filing of said topographical map, permanently covered by a building or structure, street pavement, curb, sidewalk, driveway or other paved area or by any body of water or waterway. In no event shall the developer or excavator remove from the lot more topsoil than that comprising the surplus or excess remaining after the replacement of the topsoil as aforesaid.

§ 224-9 Final grades.

No developer or excavator shall deposit soil upon, fill in or raise the grade of any lot without first making provision for:
A. 
The use in said work of soil or such other materials as will not result in deviation from the proposed final grades or the uniformity thereof by reason of abnormal shrinkage or settlement.
B. 
The collection and storage upon the lot of the original topsoil to the end that said topsoil shall not be buried beneath soil or other material of inferior quality, and the uniform replacement of the topsoil so stored over the entire area or surface of the fill soil or other material so that the final grade or grades of said replaced topsoil shall be in accordance with the proposed final grades shown on the topographical map. In the event that such provision is not practicable, provision shall be made for the uniform placement over the entire area or surface of the fill soil or other material, excepting only such portions thereof as shall be or shall have become permanently covered by a building or structure, street pavement, curb, sidewalk, driveway or other paved area or by any body of water or waterway, or a layer of topsoil not inferior in quality to that of the original topsoil, to a depth of not less than six inches, measured from the proposed final grades as shown on the topographical map.

§ 224-10 Exempt operations.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect or apply to any person engaged in the moving of soil in and upon lands enrolled in the soil conservation program of the Northeastern Jersey Soil Conservation District of the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service and for which lands an approved farm plan has been established by said agency, provided that all soil moving operations in and upon said lands are performed in accordance with said approved farm plan.

§ 224-11 Inspections.

For the purpose of administering and enforcing this chapter, any duly authorized agent of the office of the Borough Engineer, Building Department, or Department of Public Works of the Borough shall have the right to enter into and upon any lands in or upon which soil moving operations are being conducted to examine and inspect such lands.

§ 224-12 Violations and penalties. [1]

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or conditions attached to the issuance of any permit shall be punishable as provided in § 275-77. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).